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China strongly condemns attack on Karachi consulate

Updated November 23, 2018

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Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said all consular staff and their families were safe following the shooting. — File
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said all consular staff and their families were safe following the shooting. — File

Beijing on Friday strongly condemned a foiled terror attack which targeted the Chinese Consulate in Karachi and urged Pakistan to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens in the country.

Washington and New Delhi also condemned the attack.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang during a regular press briefing today said that all Chinese consular staff and their families were safe following the attack.

"China strongly condemns any violent attacks against diplomatic agencies and requests that Pakistan takes practical measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in the country," Geng said.

The Deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese embassy, Lijian Zhao, also shared a condemnation statement issued by the embassy.

"The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attack against the Chinese Consulate-General in Karachi," the statement said, noting that no Chinese citizens were killed on injured in the assault.

The embassy appreciated the Pakistan Army and police for their "timely and proper action" in response to the attack.

"We believe that the Pakistani side is able to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan," it said, adding that "Any attempt to undermine China-Pakistan relationship is doomed to fail."

At least seven people ─ two policemen, two civilians and three terrorists ─ were killed in the attack targeting the embassy, which also serves as the residence for Chinese diplomats and other staff.

The attackers opened fire at a police checkpost near the embassy in Clifton's upscale E-Street neighbourhood, home to foreign missions, restaurants and schools. However, a quick response from Rangers, police and private security guards prevented the attackers from entering the compound.

After an hour-long exchange of fire, the terrorists were killed and a clearance operation was conducted by security forces and the Bomb Disposal Squad to ensure the area was secure.

The incident is the latest in a series of assaults on Chinese nationals, including workers involved in the multi-billion dollar infrastructure project in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the incident and said, "such incidents will never be able to undermine Pak-China relationship that is mightier than Himalaya and deeper than Arabian sea".

Other political leaders, including Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif, also condemned the attack.

Protection of diplomats a national duty: FM Qureshi tells Chinese counterpart

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi telephoned his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to apprise him of the details of the attack on the consulate.

"Acting in a timely manner, our security forces while sacrificing their lives sent all attackers to hell," Qureshi told the Chinese foreign minister, according to the Foreign Office.

He said such "acts of cowardice" could not impact the Pakistan-China friendship which stands on strong foundations.

"The protection of the diplomats posted in Pakistan is our national duty which we are effectively performing," the minister said, adding that a "failed" effort to harm the Pakistan-China friendship and CPEC had been thwarted today.

Qureshi assured his Chinese counterpart that a complete investigation will be held to unmask the elements behind the attack.

According to the FO, Wang during the conversation appreciated the timely action taken by Pakistani security forces and paid tribute to the policemen martyred while responding to the attack.

US, India condemn attack

United States Chargé d'Affaires (CdA) Ambassador Paul Jones, in a tweet shared by the US Embassy in Islamabad, said: "The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi".

India's Ministry of External Affairs also shared a statement on Twitter by spokesman Raveesh Kumar saying: "We condole the loss of lives in this dastardly attack. There can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism."

The statement added: "The perpetrators of this heinous attack should be brought to justice expeditiously. Such terrorist attacks only strengthen the resolve of the international community to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations."